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Guardians of Infinity #1

GUARDIANS OF INFINITY #1

Capsule Review

It might normally be unwise to spread the Guardians of the Galaxy’s success over multiple books … but the business is what it is, and this book gets a pass because it is (firstly) entertaining, and (secondly) written by Dan Abnett, who helped to make the modern Guardians into stars a decade ago. Abnett gets right down to it, with Rocket, Groot, and Drax investigating a space station, allegedly with the vague idea they are guarding something, but more directly, so far as Rocket is concerned, to see if it might have something worth stealing. The characterization crackles. Carlo Barbari’s art is a little on the scratchy side, but it gets the job done. Bonus points for roping in the original Guardians. And even more bonus points for a rare backup story that might be better than the main feature, where writer Jason Latour and penciler Jim Cheung put Ben Grimm in an alien gladiator arena, ostensively to battle a bunch of pug-uglies, but really to learn what it is that makes the heart of a warrior beat. (Or at least the heart of a wrestler). Good stuff.

Approachability For New Readers

It all starts in the middle and doesn’t tell you much of what’s going on, so … not so great. But fun.

Read #2?

Sure.

Sales Rank

#6 December

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Guardians of Infinity #1

Spider-Gwen #1

SPIDER-GWEN #1

Capsule Review

Writer Jason Latour and artist Robbi Rodriguez provide a vivid, bouncy, exuberant, and fun superhero tale. I feel bad that I didn’t like it! And in this case I think the problem is with the reviewer, and not the work. Taken in isolation, Spider-Gwen is a high-quality bit of teen superhero storytelling, but in the context of the Spider-Man “franchise,” it feels like a gimmick, like a line-extension, and like it “doesn’t count.” All of which is unfair, because this is a nice book, but your ability to enjoy it will hinge on whether you think it’s really cool that this time the radioactive spider bit Gwen and this time it was Peter Parker who became the Lizard and this time Captain Stacy has to deal with his own daughter (instead of his daughter’s boyfriend) being the superhero. If you’ve never read a Spider-Man book, you might like it (but might also be puzzled by all the meta stuff); if all you’ve ever read are Spider-Man books, then maybe you’ll like this niche-of-a-niche stuff. I didn’t. An excellent book that I didn’t like! You can’t win them all.

Approachability For New Readers

Trying, but it’s hard. The splash page is a “Previously On …” recap, but the events themselves didn’t make sense to this new reader. Who was that dying guy? (Oh, it’s Peter Parker …which isn’t a spoiler, by the way). There’s a big text feature in the back that brings it all together. So you can get up to speed on Spider-Gwen, if you want. I applaud the effort.

Read #2?

No. This is a nice book, but I’m not really interested in it’s-the-same-as-Spider-Man-but-only-different-in-this-alternate-universe-butterfly-flapping-wing-way.

Sales Rank

#3 October

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Read more capsule reviews of Marvel’s All-New All-Different rolling reboot.

Spider-Gwen #1

 

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